NEW DELHI: Stringent and “meaningless” norms in India is restricting the growth of the general aviation segment in the country, operators feel.
Whether it is the inefficiency of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) or the tedious flight approvals or the lack of adequate infrastructure- business jet operators said it was impossible to work profitably in India.
Calling for a policy change, the unified opinion at a seminar organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce on Thursday was that a sector with great potential to connect tier II and tier III cities in India is getting quashed over meaningless rules. This opinion was shared by international representatives as well.Speakers from various fields of expertise voiced a common opinion that the government was not conducive to the development of the aviation sector. Rohit Kapur from the Business Aircraft Operators Association said: “If the ministry removes the import duty on aircraft, the revenue department can earn better revenues through other charges. Currently, the import duty has restricted the growth of the sector to 5 per cent in 2011.”
Lex den Herder, vice-president (Government & Industry Affairs) at Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. highlighted the view of international business travellers like Honeywell and General Electric who sighted poor handling at various airports. “My dispatchers and crew told me that the flight plan filing process is very cumbersome with several government hoops,” he said.
Typical flight clearances in India for the non-scheduled operators for over seven days which, experts say, is exists anywhere else in the world.
“In one instance, a pilot had to take a boarding pass to get to his flight in Mumbai as the BCAS was not in a position to issue him a entry pass.
The BCAS has not got a lamination machine in the last two years and has been giving paper passes to crew and other flight personnel entering the airport,” Rohit Kapur said.